A Baylor University study examining the relationship between violent videogames and aggression is currently underway, but any hopes that positive results for the game industry might emerge are tempered by the study’s lead already proclaiming that, “There’s a definite link between media violence and aggression.”
Dr. Daniel Shafer, Assistant Professor of Communication Studies, wants to find out which games are most likely to cause aggression in players as well as what types of people are most susceptible to becoming “aggressive and hostile” from playing videogames.
Another angle the study will examine is how multiplayer gaming impacts people. As Dr. Shafer stated, “We wanted to see if competition increased hostility more.”
The doctor would also like to eventually perform another study of online gamers, one that would determine if interactions between players are different online versus playing against other gamers in-person, a question which Baylor Gaming Society Founder Forrest Harington (and anyone who has ever plugged in an Xbox Live headset), already seemed to know the answer to.
Harington said, “I'd say there's less aggression in a room setting because people are less likely to use profanity and throw stuff around.”